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Get on Track with Better Living

Find information, tips, and resources on managing your diabetes

Live a healthier, fuller life by learning more about the types of diabetes, potential complications, and ways to receive insurance coverage.

Cranberry and Blueberry Juice Helps Insulin Sensitivity

Cranberry and blueberry juice are known for their tart flavors, but they also possess unique health benefits. Berry juices are most commonly credited for preventing urinary tract infections in women, but for people living with diabetes, drinking cranberry and blueberry juice can also help stabilize blood sugar levels.

Natural cranberry juice antioxidants promote a healthy heart by increasing the good HDL cholesterol levels while simultaneously reducing the bad LDL cholesterol levels. HDL cholesterol works to rid your passageways of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol. This is crucial for people with diabetes because they are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. Since higher blood sugar levels lead to lower HDL cholesterol levels, avoid cranberry cocktail brands that possess added sugars. Since cranberry juice is high in carbohydrates, it is important to purchase only natural cranberry juice.

In addition to being healthy for the heart, natural cranberry juice is rich in antioxidants, including the powerful antioxidant known as resveratrol. Studies on animals have shown that resveratrol improves insulin resistance, leading to healthier glucose levels. This could be great news for the millions of Americans with Type 2 diabetes because insulin is necessary to create energy. Red wine, peanuts, and blueberries also contain this property.

In addition to containing resveratrol, blueberries are high in fiber, making you feel fuller longer. Blueberries also have the ability to prevent memory loss. Scientists believe that the flavonoids in blueberries encourage brain activity by preventing and correcting cellular damage. Similar to cranberry juice, blueberry juice can improve insulin sensitivity. Other benefits of blueberry juice include the removal of cancer-causing free radicals, a reduced risk of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, and lower cholesterol.

For some, natural cranberry and blueberry juices may be too tart to enjoy on a regular basis. Instead of opting for sugary cocktail juices, add water to natural juices to lessen the bitter taste. Keep in mind that although juice cocktails might taste better, they contain more sugar, which can pose a problem for people with diabetes in raising blood glucose to an unhealthy level. To be safe, test your blood glucose levels before indulging in a glass of cranberry or blueberry juice. Although they're good for your health, drinking cranberry or blueberry juice when your blood sugar levels are high could cause more harm than good.